31-year-old Ashish Chordia loves his work. He calls it a hobby that helps him make money. The man who brought luxury brands Ferrari, Ducati and Fendi to India returned to the country eight years after his graduation in the United States, convinced that he did not want to be just another entrepreneur. So he decided to enter the till-then untapped luxury segment. He recognized the growth potential and jumped right in, understanding that this was the right time to bring luxury brands to Indian customers.
In 2003, Chordia brought luxury car brand Porsche to India. He followed this up with the introduction of Ducati, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior and others. His most recent project was bringing Ferrari to India, a deal that he inked only last month after edging out several big guns of Indian industry.
What stands Chordia in good stead is his understanding of the Indian luxury market. He emphasizes the need for research while plugging a new luxury product or brand and warns against overestimating the demands of the customer. Chordia recognizes that the new age Indian customer is no fool. He/She is wealthy with an awareness of brands and of what they want. Chordia maintains that everyone can be a customer, the only difference lies in their aspirations.
Chordia adopts the “different strokes for different folks” philosophy while dealing with different kinds of customers – from direct communication with the client to sending personalized gifts. And since this is the luxury segment, don’t be surprised if it involves sending a potential Porsche customer a model car.
Back in 2003, Chordia’s move to bring Porsche to India may have been viewed as a foolhardy act by many. But Chordia was always certain that there would be buyers. His gamble paid off. These days, the entrepreneur sells a Porsche a day at a base price of Rs 59 lakh. With Ferrari, it will not be about numbers though, since the car has a more aspirational appeal.
The challenge for the luxury segment in India involves finding the right location and clients. A luxury brand outlet in the middle of nowhere would be a big flop, so Chordia picks and chooses his locations with care. For instance, in Mumbai, upscale Peder Road is the site for the Porsche showroom and the high-end Atria Mall is home to Chordia’s multi-brand store Thanks.
His work may be his hobby, but Chordia also takes time out for tennis and flying lessons, and is always traveling. The man who brought luxury cars to India also owns a few Ducatis in addition to other vehicles that he won’t name. Chordia is pretty much the king of luxury car brands in India. Plus, he represents NetJets, a firm that leases and allows fractional ownership of private jets. Chordia is yet to hit the luxury yacht market, but he is watching that area and eyeing the scope for growth. Meanwhile, even as India’s luxury market continues to grow, Chordia is not slowing down. His plans of bringing international luxury brands to the country are far from complete.
Via: Business Standard